Installing Shut-off Valves

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A basic, but most important installation is including shut-off valves on hot and/or cold water lines and plumbing fixtures.

Strategically placed shut-offs are nice features to have when working on plumbing fixtures, a washer or hot water heater.

For example, anytime a fixture needs repair (or installation in new construction situations) its individual shut-off allows the rest of the house to remain “live.”

In-Line Shut-Offs

In-line lever or “wheel” shut-offs are popular types of primary shut-off fittings. They’re usually made of brass with copper fittings for soldering.

Install an in-line shut-off — copper to copper — by marking the center of its location on the existing water line.

Shut off the water supply and cut the line. Sometimes, the pipe will spread enough to accomodate the shut-off. If not, cut back the pipe so the valve sets in-line.

Clean both ends of the fitting and both pieces of pipe. Open the valve before heating it to protect the rubber seal from being damaged.

Flux all four ends and fit the shut-off onto the pipe. Position the valve straight and heat and solder each joint. Wipe away any excess solder with a rag.

Compression Fittings

img Shut-offs to toilets and sinks are generally chrome-plated, oval handled compression fittings.

Turn off the main water supply and cut off the end cap of the copper water line, leaving enough pipe exposed so the shut-off will fit properly.

imgFit any decorative cover (escutcheon) over the line, followed by the compression nut and compression ring (ferrule). Test fit the valve over the line and position the ring to meet the threads.

Screw on the compression nut by hand. Then tighten it down firmly with an adjustable wrench while holding the valve in place with another wrench.

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